Wednesday 13 October 6;30 pm - 8:00 pm

Pike Ward was an extraordinary Devonian who became a hugely important figure in the history of modern Iceland. His story had been forgotten until his diaries and photographs were discovered by Katherine Findlay in 2016. At this event, Katherine and Westcountry writer and actor Edward Rowe will give an insight into their project to dramatise Pike Ward’s remarkable life in audio. They will talk about his place in history and the creative process of bringing the past alive in sound, with some live readings to preview the production. The Custom House is the ideal setting for this event as Pike Ward worked in Iceland for many years on behalf of a company based on Exeter Quay.

About the speakers

Edward Rowe is a Cornish actor, writer and comedian, best known for playing the lead in the BAFTA-winning film Bait. He trained at The London Academy of Performing Arts before returning to the South West. He has written, produced and starred in a number of shows for regional audiences, including Hireth (2018) about miners in the First World War, and Trevithick! (2016), a biographical comedy about Richard Trevithick. He also performs comedy as Kernow King and has toured three stand-up shows.


Katherine Findlay is a writer, researcher and project manager specialising in the history of Devon and Iceland. Her research into the life of Pike Ward resulted in a book based on his diaries and a series of events and exhibitions in the UK and Iceland. These included a major exhibition in 2019 at the National Museum of Iceland. Her work to tell the story continues.



Pike Ward image: Pike Ward by Þórarinn Benedikt Þorláksson, c.1901. With thanks to the National Museum of Iceland.

PLEASE NOTE: We intend for this event to take place at Exeter Custom House and continue to monitor Government guidance. We will be following social distancing procedures as appropriate at the time of the event. Book your tickets with confidence, if it is not possible to go ahead an online alternative or refund will be available. We can accommodate free tickets for carers or personal assistants if needed. Please email us on after booking to let us know if you would like to book one of these tickets.